Aggie I see we have something in common..... I have also drug home some peculiar 'things' without knowing why! Thanks for the offer but I have reams of paper on hand (including a roll of the mural paper)... Hold on to that roll though someone will put it to good use.
I have about 20 contemporary water-colour papers and a folio of vintage papers that I am gradually working through. I have tried some of the very rough textured papers such as the Strathmore and got good blacks but the problem was the way the coating settled into the paper with less density at the 'peaks' of the texture when viewed with a loupe. I think I have several types of Arches here but have yet to try them, sounds like that should be next. I have been focusing on the photographic papers because of their wet strength and smoothness.
Back to the Bergger... Yesterday I removed the emulsion from the J&C Museum Classic which I assume is the Bergger Prestige stock..... It is smoother (not a fibre out of place!) and whiter than the Kodak . Strangely the paper seems to have a wrong and right side (absorbs the coating differently). I did a swatch test and got a black, so when it stops raining I will do a print and see.
Thanks for your paper suggestions and your generous and thoughtful input..... If I ever happen to find another good 'smoothie' I will post here.